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L.A. Unheard: Bear Attack's youthful roar

March 20, 2012 |  3:40 pm

The band: Bear Attack, a five-piece group of USC students.

The sound: On tracks such as “August” and “Boxes,” the band plays a brand of soft, tuneful folk-rock that evokes the spacious earnestness of the Swell Season or early Coldplay. Full of careful harmonies and colorful guitar chords, it’s serious, mature music -- impressively so for a band barely old enough to drink.

The random: Except for guitarist Brandon Bae, the quintet met as majors in USC’s popular music program, a recent addition to the Thornton Music School that began in fall 2009. (The old-school Bae is wrapping up his semesters in the university’s jazz program.) The bulk of the group won’t graduate until 2013, which means L.A. should see much more from Bear Attack in the coming year.

The details: “August” made an appearance on Monday night’s season finale of ABC Family’s “Pretty Little Liars,” marking the young group’s television-soundtrack debut. Bear Attack funded an upcoming EP, “Shapes,” through Kickstarter, which is expected to arrive this spring.

The music: Download "August" below and hear more from the band on Facebook.

MP3: Bear Attack -- "August"


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L.A. Unheard: Jesse Thomas' folky 'Fire' (song premiere)

Critic's notebook: New albums by Nite Jewel and Julia Holter 

-- David Greenwald

Photo: Bear Attack. Credit: Matias Mora